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Premier League | Gameweek 27
Mar 2, 2024 at 5.30pm UK
Kenilworth Road Stadium

2 - 3
Aston Villa

Chong (66'), Morris (72')
Burke (38')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Watkins (24', 38'), Digne (89')
Bailey (45+5'), Luiz (45'), Rogers (50'), Zaniolo (90+2')

Preview: Luton Town vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Luton Town vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Luton Town and Aston Villa, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

In the wake of a crushing FA Cup loss to the reigning champions, Luton Town turn their attention back to the Premier League relegation scrap on Saturday evening, hosting Aston Villa at Kenilworth Road.

Rob Edwards's side were blown to smithereens 6-2 by Manchester City in Tuesday's FA Cup contest, prior to which the Lions ran out 4-2 top-flight victors at home to Nottingham Forest.

Match preview

Luton fans, players and coaching staff may still be having nightmares about Man City's spellbinding pair Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne following the events of Tuesday night, where the dynamic duo amassed a staggering nine goal contributions between them in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

For the second time in a Citizens jersey, Haaland ended a game with a fantastic five goals to his name - four of which were set up by De Bruyne - while a fine Mateo Kovacic strike also ensured that Jordan Clark's two efforts for Luton would only be a scant consolation.

Clark's first strike - which sparked hope of an improbable turnaround - certainly won the goal-of-the-match award, but the 30-year-old and his Hatters colleagues returned home battered and bruised from a night with the champions, who condemned them to their fourth straight loss in all competitions.

Owing to three successive Premier League losses to Sheffield United, Liverpool and Manchester United, a Luton side whose powers have slowly waned find themselves in 18th place in the Premier League table, four points below Nottingham Forest in the safety of 17th spot with a game in hand.

While Clark's brace on Tuesday means that Edwards's men have now scored in nine consecutive fixtures, a whopping 19 goals have been let in by the Luton backline in their last five games, including 11 in their three home clashes throughout a forgettable February.

Aston Villa's recent defensive exploits at Villa Park have often left a lot to be desired too, and Unai Emery's men conceded for the fourth game running versus Nottingham Forest last weekend, where Moussa Niakhate and Morgan Gibbs-White both found a way through for the visitors.

However, two strikes from Douglas Luiz and a fourth-minute opener from Ollie Watkins had already given Aston Villa a seemingly unassailable lead before Forest threatened a second-half comeback, but such hopes evaporated when Leon Bailey tapped in the Lions' fourth of the afternoon.

On account of their first home victory of 2024 - as well as the postponement of Tottenham Hotspur's London derby with EFL Cup finalists Chelsea - Emery's men hold a five-point lead over the Lilywhites in the fourth and final Champions League spot, albeit having played an extra game.

While the Lions lost their golden touch at home earlier this year, they remain undefeated on rival territory in 2024 - conceding just one goal in those five contests - and the visitors could now triumph in three straight Premier League road matches for the first time since Emery's opening three away games in charge.

Aston Villa ran out convincing 3-1 winners when Luton visited the West Midlands at the end of October, but not since 1989 have the Lions come away from Kenilworth Road with a victory to their name, losing each of their last three contests at the Hatters' headquarters.

Luton Town Premier League form:

Luton Town form (all competitions):

Aston Villa Premier League form:

Aston Villa form (all competitions):

Team News

Luton's beatdown at the hands of Man City was a particularly painful experience for Amari'i Bell, who was withdrawn injured towards the end of the first half and watched on helplessly as Haaland, De Bruyne and co tore his team to shreds.

While Bell will need assessing, Gabriel Osho has been ruled out with a muscular issue, but as the Hatters' absentee list grows, Man City loanee Issa Kabore will at least return after being ineligible to take on his parent club.

However, Mads Andersen (calf), Elijah Adebayo (hamstring), Albert Sambi Lokonga (thigh), Dan Potts (unspecified), Jacob Brown (knee), Marvelous Nakamba (knee) and Tom Lockyer (heart) are still unavailable for Luton, who handed January signing Daiki Hashioka his first-team debut on Tuesday night.

Aston Villa also made an early defensive substitution in their most recent battle, as Pau Torres only lasted until half time against Nottingham Forest before succumbing to leg pain, but Emery played down his withdrawal as a precautionary one after the game.

Torres and Ezri Konsa (knee) will both be in the squad this weekend, but Emery could not say for certainty whether they would be fit to start, and the Lions are guaranteed to be without five infirm players in Boubacar Kamara (knee), Tyrone Mings (knee), Emiliano Buendia (knee), Jhon Duran (hamstring) and Diego Carlos (thigh).

With 24 direct contributions under his belt already this season, only Mohamed Salah has had a hand in as many Premier League goals as Watkins in 2023-24, and the English Euro 2024 hopeful is primed to spearhead an unchanged Lions' XI.

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Bell, Mengi, Burke; Ogbene, Barkley, Clark, Doughty; Chong, Morris; Woodrow

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Torres, Lenglet, Moreno; Bailey, Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey; Tielemans; Watkins

We say: Luton Town 1-4 Aston Villa

The ease in which City carved their way through a disjointed and injury-hit Luton defence spells trouble for the hosts on Saturday, especially with their visitors also boasting the fresher legs.

Edwards's side can at least take solace from their recent propensity for scoring, but as was the case throughout February, a solitary strike should ultimately prove meaningless as Aston Villa remain in control of their Champions League destiny.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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